Lynas accountable to employees if operations shut down, deputy minister says

Fuziah Salleh said that the government was concerned about the welfare of Lynas employees but the bigger aspect should be seen especially concerning the safety of Kuantan residents. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Fuziah Salleh said that the government was concerned about the welfare of Lynas employees but the bigger aspect should be seen especially concerning the safety of Kuantan residents. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Lynas Corporation Ltd (Lynas) should take full responsibility for its employees who face the risk of losing their jobs if the company’s operations are shut down, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh said.

Fuziah, who is Kuantan Member of Parliament, said this was because the rare earth company had repeatedly assured the community and its own employees that the company’s operations located in Gebeng, Kuantan were safe.

She added that the government was concerned about the welfare of Lynas employees but the bigger aspect should be seen especially concerning the safety of Kuantan residents.

“According to my views, we have to look at the larger aspect, namely the welfare and safety of Kuantan’s overall population of 600,000 people.

“Many among them work in Gebeng and are exposed to air pollution in terms of dust and radiation coming from the factory, this is also important,” she told Bernama after appearing as a guest on a Bernama News Channel (BNC) interview programme at Wisma Bernama, here last night.

Yesterday, Lynas took out advertisements in several newspapers with testimonies of it workers who expressed their confidence in its operations.

Lynas took out advertisements showcasing its Malaysian workforce in major local English, Malay and Chinese dailies including The Star, Utusan Malaysia and Sin Chew on October 16, 2018.
Lynas took out advertisements showcasing its Malaysian workforce in major local English, Malay and Chinese dailies including The Star, Utusan Malaysia and Sin Chew on October 16, 2018.

Prior to this, they had voiced their fears about job security should the plant be shut down.

On Monday, Energy, Technology, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin announced the setting up of an executive committee to evaluate the operations of the Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Pahang to ensure that Malaysia does not become a dumping ground for hazardous waste from other countries.

According to Yeo, the committee is made up of individuals who had not openly stated their stand on the plant, whether they were in favour of it or not.

The committee has been given six weeks to do the evaluation and give its report and recommendations to the government. — Bernama

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